Social media case study: Ireland and 3 connect rugby fans abroad with community tools

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Ireland’s first game of the 2015 Six nations tournament took place in Rome last weekend, with huge expectations on the team for the opening game against Italy, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU)’s social media campaign helped to create a community feel for all the fans making the trip to the Italian capital and those watching from the Emerald Isle.

Case study summary

• IRFU’s social media campaign connects fans at home with those at the away match in Rome

• Tweeting links to great content, bought fans to the IRFU website

• Official sponsor 3 Mobile got involved in the campaign creating their own hashtag

The challenge

The rugby organisation wanted to boost its image to fans on social and mobile channels during the Six Nations Rugby tournament. There are challenges and great opportunities when leading a social media campaign on foreign soil. It’s important to create a campaign that adds value and creates benefits for fans, sponsors and the IRFU. One of the best ways to create a great campaign is to let the fans take charge in a controlled environment.

The solution

The IRFU encouraged fans to share their experiences in Rome via social media, using the long established hashtag #ShouldertoShoulder. In the run up to the game a great atmosphere was created on social media with fans uploading photos enabling them to feel part of the occasion.

Pre-match interviews with players initiated discussions on social media about what to expect from the game. The IRFU tweeted links to the interviews bringing fans to the IRFU website. As well as the #ShouldertoShoulder hashtag, Ireland’s official sponsors 3 Mobile created a hastag #AllitTakes suggesting they are getting a good ROMI in the team.

The IRFU also set up a match day live blog for those unable to watch on television which was hugely popular with fans.

The results

The IRFU has successfully demonstrated that through social media it is possible to create a great campaign connecting fans at home and away, and get fans involved in the match day experience regardless of location. Ireland won their Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome 3-26.

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